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 By Mike Whalley

Brendan Rodgers backed with funds

Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre says the club are doing all they can to support manager Brendan Rodgers in the January transfer window.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers has money to spend this month.

Usher: Man for the big occasion

Rodgers, who has been trying to line up a deal for Basel midfielder Mohamed Salah, is scheduled to meet chairman Tom Werner and principal owner John W Henry this weekend.

Werner and Henry are flying in from Boston to take in Saturday’s Premier League match against Aston Villa.

Rodgers has played down the prospect of any imminent signings, although he is hopeful that he can add to his squad before the transfer window shuts at the end of the month.

But Ayre insists the club are well placed commercially to give the manager the funding he needs to maintain a push for Champions League qualification.

Liverpool boosted their financial potential on Thursday as they revealed a sponsorship deal with Dunkin’ Brands Group, who will become the club’s official coffee, tea, bakery and ice cream provider.

Ayre said: “In order to support Brendan we have to provide the resources. In the modern game, we talk about financial fair play and the ability to operate in transfer markets. A big part of achieving what we want to achieve here depends on generating revenue which supports what we do on the pitch.

“Off the pitch I think we bat right at the top of the league in terms of our commercial activity and our performances in that regard. Our ambition is to be the best we can be for our fans, not compete with anyone else.”

Rodgers said that Liverpool have been working for several months on potential signings, but acknowledges that doing business midway through the season is difficult.

He said: “There are no real developments yet. You see across the markets, clubs are just looking to see where they can improve. It's similar to ourselves. We have been working over a number of months on possibilities that could strengthen the team. We just need to see how that goes in the next couple of weeks.

“The owners have been great. If there's something there to be done that will help us and improve us, I'm sure they'll support that. It’s one where it could be a difficult market to improve. But it certainly won't be for the want of trying. There's a lot of good work going on. We're assessing a whole raft of players. It's just a case of whether they are going to be available for us to bring in now.”

One player who looks set to head out of Anfield on loan is centre-back Tiago Ilori, who is attracting interest from Spain.

The 20-year-old has not made a first-team appearance for Liverpool since arriving from Sporting Lisbon in a seven-million-pound deal in September.

Granada are interested in taking him, while Valencia have also been linked with a move for the defender.

Rodgers said: “A loan deal is something we will look at with Tiago. He’s come in and discovered what Liverpool are all about, and that’s been terrific for him. But he needs to be playing, and we will look to get him a loan period.”

Youngster Jordon Ibe has also been tipped for a loan move, but Rodgers wants to keep him at Anfield for now.

He said: “Jordon is in and around the squad at the moment. He’s been outstanding in training, and he’s a young player who is learning all the time. He’s getting on the bench and there’s a possibility he will play. But if he’s not playing, we will have to get him game time at some point, because he’s got the potential to be a great player.”


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